Glasgow: Police disperse Rangers fans from George Square amid antisocial behaviour and disorder

Police Scotland moved in to disperse Rangers fans from Glasgow’s George Square due to “rising disorder” after thousands marched to celebrate their side’s title win.

Fans took to the streets in celebration of the club’s first Scottish Premiership trophy in a decade, with many marching from Ibrox to George Square despite warnings against large gatherings due to coronavirus.

After supporters celebrated in the square for hours on Saturday – singing, dancing and setting off fireworks – Police Scotland officers formed a line and cleared the group from the area just after 9pm.

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Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf called the gatherings in Glasgow “selfish and irresponsible behaviour” which put lives at risk.

Glasgow:Police to disperse fans from George Square due to the ‘level of disorder’ . Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

Police said they had been dealing with various incidents of anti-social behaviour and the use of pyrotechnics.

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Earlier on Saturday, Steven Gerrard’s side defeated Aberdeen 4-0 at Ibrox before collecting the Scottish Premiership silverware.

The fans in George Square were fringed by around two dozen police officers during the day, some of whom were seen confiscating alcohol and pouring it away.

Glasgow:Police to disperse fans from George Square due to the ‘level of disorder’

Police Scotland had called on them to “disperse and take personal responsibility” and later tweeted: “Due to the level of disorder in George Square, Police Scotland will make use of powers available under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 to disperse those who have chosen to gather.

"The senior police officer on the ground will give direct instructions to those gathered.”

Police Scotland earlier said they had made arrests in relation to anti-social behaviour, but a senior officer added it would not have been proportionate to disperse the crowd at George Square earlier by force.

Mr Yousaf said he was “extremely disappointed” that supporters had ignored coronavirus regulations.

He said: “I understand the significance of this day for Rangers fans but I am extremely disappointed that supporters have once again ignored Covid regulations and chosen to gather in large numbers in Glasgow.

“The rules are the same for everyone and the evidence is clear - when large numbers of people gather in close proximity, there is an increased risk of transmission.

"We are in a crucial and fragile stage in our fight against the virus, with a new variant and rising infection rates adding to the risks.”

On Friday, the First Minister announced that the city of Glasgow would remain in level three for another week, despite other areas in the country moving down to level two, due to a high number of coronavirus cases.

Mr Yousaf continued: "This selfish and irresponsible behaviour endangers the lives of others – supporters, the police on duty and the wider community.

"I want to thank the police for incredibly difficult job they are doing keeping our communities safe throughout the pandemic.

“We have already discussed this with Rangers and will liaise with Police Scotland and the football authorities to consider what further action can be taken.”

Earlier in the evening, chief superintendent Mark Sutherland said a request for a fan procession to the city centre had been declined, but police later decided to escort large groups of supporters as they made their way to George Square in order to minimise disruption.

He added: “Given the largely peaceful nature of the crowd, it would not be proportionate for our resources to use a high level of force through public order policing to disperse those gathering.

“We have seen some disruption to traffic, but no long-lasting disruption to our communities.”

“The overarching aim of Police Scotland’s operation today remains public safety."

Additional reporting by PA

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